In some parts of the county, the frozen ground is a welcome occurrence! Bugs are gone, snow might be coming, and the earth gets a time to rest. BUT - you horse’s hooves might not appreciate it so much.
Frozen ground is wickedly hard - harder than any concrete or asphalt road. It also likes to freeze rocks into place, creating little spikes in the ground. Your horse won’t be able to kick them out of the way, so tripping is a risk, as are nasty bruises from landing on one of those - even at the walk.
You also need to be diligent around muddy pastures that have frozen. As the ground freezes, the hoof prints created in the mud freeze, creating small mountain ranges in the pasture. Not good for hoof soles, and the possibility of injury is there if your horse twists a leg.
Ice is the third big concern when the ground is frozen, as a falling horse often leads to major traumas.
A hoof pad inside a hoof boot can help to support your horse.
Cross your fingers for an early spring!
The horse’s hoof is an amazing structure, with layers and layers of tissue and function. The hoof wall is the barrier between the bones inside, as well as the soft tissue structures that hold your horse up!
The hoof wall is a changing structure, as is grows about 6 to 9mm a month. In a year’s time, most horses will have totally regrown their hoof wall. The majority of tissue in the hoof wall is keratin, and it’s about 25% water. If your horse is shod, the horse shoe nails go through the hoof wall.
It’s almost inevitable that at some point, your horse will need his hooves soaked or iced. Common reasons for soaking a horse’s hoof include an abscess, white line treatment, or even icing for hoof bruises or laminitis. The best way to get this done is also the easiest way - with a Soaker Sack.
There are many medical words that you might here from your Farrier and Vet - here's an introduction into the terms describing hooves!